Intel's Pentium II CPU, due in May, will pose an interesting problem for the company's marketing force: it's slower and more expensive than the Pentium Pro, the CPU it is supposed to replace. The problem: access to the Level 2 cache is twice as slow as with a comparable Pentium Pro CPU. According to ZDNet, a 233Mhz Pentium II with 512K cache will perform at or below the less expensive Pentium Pro 200 with 256K cache.

Ironically, Intel chose this week to announce their commitment to increasing computer performance by a factor of ten by the year 2000. What they mean is that computers produced in three years will be ten times more powerful than the ones they're releasing today. Of course, most of the increases will come from fixing the real bottlenecks in PC performance. The CPU is probably the most efficient component of today's PC, whereas the general system architecture is dated: new graphics acceleration hardware, a high bandwidth bus with four times the throughput of PCI, and faster DRAM will all contribute to the speed increases